Dear John: Should I trade job security for the chance of a lifetime?

Q
I love my job as a high school English teacher, but I’ve been given an opportunity to teach abroad at an international school outside my home country. Here is the dilemma: if I go I will gain international baccalaureate training and have a chance to work with teachers from Harvard who help to create the school curriculum. Plus my daughter will be able to take the middle years programme classes. However, if I stay in my home country for just one more year, I will be able to take a year’s sabbatical with the security of having my previous job if a job abroad doesn’t work out.

So, do I go and develop my professional experience now, or do I pass up this school and hang on for one more year until I qualify for sabbatical leave and hope to find another international job as good as my current offer?


A
As the saying goes, ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’, but the sabbatical if guaranteed might be worth waiting for. Personally, I would go for the ‘now’ and take the risk, but much depends upon whether you are a risk taker or a comfort first person?


John Howson worked as a secondary school teacher in London for seven years before moving into teacher training and consultancy, including a brief period as a chief government advisor. John is now a recruitment analyst, visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes University and hosts our Career Clinic where you can post questions to him.

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